Rebecca and I are back in Iowa for the New Year celebration with my family. Even though it’s cold outside, and I mean really cold, we braved the elements to take a venture around the countryside to see what we could find and do a little photowalking.
Here are a handful of my favorite shots from the trip, all shot with my 18-105mm lens.
The bridge in the above photo was built around the turn of the 20th century, and I’ve wanted to get some photos of it for a long time. It was so cold that I wasn’t overly happy with how a lot of them turned out, and you can see evidence of this in the photo below that Rebecca took of my while I was probably taking this exact photo above.
As cold as it was and as thick as my gloves were, it didn’t lend to a lot of time to mess around with any settings on my Nikon D90. In time, I hope to understand my camera more so I can plan ahead a little more. The -20F wind chills were just not the most ideal conditions to take the time to make such adjustments.
This was published originally on Miss604.com as apart of Blogathon 2009.
Hanging out at WorkSpace today for Blogathon, Rebecca snapped this great picture. It’s one of many, many streaks of lightning that filled the sky in the late afternoon, and these things aren’t that common. I don’t think I’ve seen a storm like that in about four years, which is when I moved here from eastern Iowa.
In the Midwest, you expect these things, and that’s because you have to.
As I watched the wall cloud come in over Mt. Seymour, that was a site that would strike a little fear into your gut as it came out of the horizon back home. What followed that was anyone’s guess. Intense wind to bust up trees, torrents of rain that could sweep your car off the road, baseball sized hail that would lead to cheap new car prices on damaged stock, or the ever friendly tornado that might knock on your door as an uninvited guest.
Watching the lightning zap the holy hell out of the mountains, it reminded me of those times when it was, “Get to the basement!” And it always seem like at that very moment, you’ve got to pee. The adrenaline kicks in and you do what you’ve been told over and over to do in school, but you still have this worst timing hit you at the same time.
That’s because tornadoes are pretty damn scary. They are additively fascinating to try and catch a glimpse of, but you just don’t want it to get too close because I’ve driven through towns that were ripped apart on a direct hit. I’ve grasped onto my mother under a blanket while the wind thumped against our house, sort of saying good-byes to each other through mutual I Iove yous.
That was one of my first times being on the radio when WMT called our house to speak to a witness. I barely had my nerves together enough to say my name correctly yet alone recount all the trees and power lines down in our neighborhood.
Everyone seems to have a personal story or knows a story of someone else with experiences like this. You can never be too careful when it comes to any storm, but the one that reached downtown today was fairly impressive in its own right. Like I said, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen something like that.
This has to be one of my favorite coffee mugs that we added to our collection when we were back in my old stomping grounds this past January. Just a quick shot while doing some client work for sixty4media on a Saturday.
Sadly, I never went to the Hamburg Inn No. 2 as often as I probably should have when I lived in Iowa City. Breakfast was never something I really regarded as important to me until I moved out of the downtown area of IC, and then it got to the point where I never wanted to bother with the pains of parking in the area or waiting in line for a table or booth to open up. That all seems completely insignificant now, but it’s nice to have this memento at least.
The Des Moines Register posted this video on their site of the security cameras from inside of a bank that was destroyed during the tornado in Parkersburg, Iowa over the recent Memorial Day weekend. The video is astounding. You can see what the wind can do as the windows are blown out, and then the tornado hits the building dead on, eventually taking out the cameras.
Update: The Des Moines Register also posted this video footage from the same storm that destroyed much of Parkersburg, Iowa. It’s truly shocking.
It’s been a tough few weeks in the Midwest of the U.S., and some might say a year if you consider the tornado that nearly wiped Greensburg, Kansas[wiki] off the face of the earth almost a year ago.
Over the past weekend, storms have been hitting close to home back in Iowa, and the reports keep painting the picture clearer as to what happened in the small town of Parkersburg, Iowa. Growing up, you know about these things and understand what they are capable of. This is a bit different.
Rescuers continued picking through the wreckage in search of possible victims, but officials said they were hopeful no one else would be found. In addition to those killed, about 70 people were injured, including two in critical condition.
The damage in this town of about 1,000 was staggering: 222 homes destroyed, 21 businesses destroyed and more than 400 homes damaged. Among the buildings destroyed were the city hall, the high school and the town’s sole grocery store and gas station.
“There’s so much hurt here, I don’t know where to start,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who owns a farm near New Hartford. [myway]
What is even more astounding is that not only was the city hall destroyed, but so was all the data records.
All records stored at Parkersburg’s City Hall were lost in Sunday’s tornado, officials confirmed this morning.
Backup computer information might be available, they said, but the first order of business will be the massive cleanup effort that awaits.
At a community meeting this morning, officials announced that a system has been established to let property owners inform crews when they have finished trying to salvage belongings. Resident were instructed to register at the Veterans Building community center for special green and tan lawn stakes that signify when property is ready for demolition. [desmoinesregister]
I’ve been through my share of storms and seen the damage these things can do, but I cannot fathom what it would take to have damage on this wide of a scale. Houses and barns are what you expect, and it never feels typical when it happens. No matter how small the town is, it’s still a town, and it’s hardly a town now.
If you would like to help out with the cause, please consider pledging to the Red Cross who is helping out with the disaster recovery.